15 May 2014


If you came across footage of an explosive fight in an elevator involving some of today’s biggest stars, would you sell it for big bucks and risk losing your job, or would you do what was morally right?
 Whatever you choose, don’t get caught up!
 An employee at the Standard Hotel is learning the hard way this week after the person was fired for selling off footage of Solange fighting Jay Z in an elevator.
 The person in question, recorded the live feed from the security office from their cell phone, and then forwarded it over to TMZ, who may have paid upward of a quarter million dollars for the footage.(Page Six reports that it was $250,0000). According to the Standard, the employee breached the security polices of the hotel by recording the confidential CCTV video, and their info has been handed over to criminal authorities.

 This week, The Washington Post pointed out that leaking security footage is becoming more and more popular, and businesses are having a hard time preventing this from happening: The prevalence of smartphones and the ease of which people can simply and surreptitiously hold up their own mobile devices and record security videos has led to this boom. 
In the Jay Z clip, check out the shaky camera work and those green dividing lines that reveal other shots from different security cams; the leaked clip of Rep. Vance Mc Allister (R-La.) kissing his district office staffer had a similar look, making it clear that what we saw was a video of a video. And that, experts say, is a new privacy breach that is nearly impossible to stop. At the end of the day, it’s simply not an issue that a security system or individual company can predict – especially when someone spots a goldmine moment on a surveillance camera and starts to see dollar signs.
 “It would be very, very difficult to prevent,” said Jeremy Warren, innovation vice president at security company Vivint. “If you have human monitoring of video in a hotel or office building, preventing someone who’s able to watch these videos and do something like record it on their phone? It’s not very easy to do.” What is incredibly easy, however, is for the person that filmed the footage to ship it over to TMZ. 

(The gossip site was the first to show the Solange-Jay Z video.) It’s becoming very common for people to want a quick payday, or the kind of online micro-stardom that comes with uploading a really popular video that can be anything from a celebrity tantrum to an everyday woman texting while walking and falling into a fountain at a mall. There’s an ingrained temptation to share and try to profit that’s hard to resist. By name alone, security footage is supposed to be, well, secure. Most times, it is. But security experts agree that there are many new challenges that have led to a much higher risk of videos getting out into the public. In other words, in this day and age where folks are getting top dollar for leaked footage and photos, no one is safe. Privacy deactivated.

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